I sure hope someone can provide honest and open answers to my simple questions. I would like to get to the bottom of why the F-35 was selected in secrecy with no competitive bid process.
I've answered you, given the price, and capability of the F-35 compared to other fighters, it is the best deal by far.
One possibility I know of would be to hope for good results upon the lodging of requests via the Access To Information Act
That would do squat if you think the government is deceiving you as the information released will still be controlled by the government.
If the plane is so great and so unique it would easily win an open tender.
If we do, it will cost us penalties for leaving the JSF program, and should it turn out to be the right aircraft, we have to pay entry fees of 800-900 Million.
So, if it is so great and so unique, opening a tender would only cost us around 1 Billion for Nothing.
There's no way that plane is only going to cost what Harper has promised it will cost.
Have you seen my cost analysis or even the USAF budget of YF2011? Or even numerous comparisons and reviews of both the DND's estimate and PBO's estimate?
Our wars don't involve fighters attacking each other. This won't change.
Unless we get sub-par fighters that can't match the potential adversaries.
We don't see any air battles on our airspace because we currently have a competent air force. Their job is not only to intercept any threat, but also to deter any possible threat from occuring, simply by being efficient, effective, and up to date.
What peace time ... we've been at war for the best part of a decade now.
Afghanistan is hardly a war. It impacts us minimally, and to my mind, it isn't a war.
There's been little evidence that we suddenly need a much more advanced plane.
When we had Hornets, third world countries had Mig-21s and mig-29s at best. Our Hornets could handle them fine. Soviets had Su-27s, and mig-29s which our CF-18s could fight toe to toe with.
Now third world countries are moving onto fighters in the class of Rafale, Super Hornet, and Typhoons, even if we upgrade our CF-18s to the above, we would not gain sufficient advantage to prevent our jets to become widowmakers
. And when Russia gets their PAKFA, the Chinese get the J-20 up and running, our fighter jets will definitely become flying coffins should we tangle with them.
Further, with the advent of more advanced Anti-air missiles on the battlefield, the F-35 would not only provide us with greater survivability, but also greater flexibility.
Further, the F-35 is the only aircraft with Ballistic Missile detection and tracking capability, and its far superior air to ground capability gives our pilots a far easier time and effectiveness in our NATO missions.
So in summary
, they are necessary Domestically
due to improving Russia and Chinese threat, and Expeditionarily
, due to improving SAMs, and fighters from third world nations.
And I haven't seen any convincing argument on why a want another widowmaker.
It wouldn't be nearly as a widowmaker as if we would get the alternatives. They lack Stealth to be as survivable.
I'm also not sure that this plane can actually do what is advertised ... shouldn't we be deferring this purchase until these planes are actually in service - so we don't buy something that won't even do it's job.
First of all, just because the plane goes into service, doesn't mean denialists would stop doubting them. This went with every advanced piece of gear that has ever been put into production. From F-22, to F-15, from Eurofighter, to the Rafale, from the Abrams to Bradley. Denialists continue to dismiss their capabilities until they score some actual kills.
Secondly, by the time F-35 goes into full active service, we would be pushed WAY back in line for delivery. Somewhere around 2020-2025. By that time, we would be lucky just to keep ONE of our hornets flying.
I think it's an important part of the debate. Should we trust the judgement of those in the military who think we need this particular plane, rather than one that simply fulfills are current capabilities. Perhaps not so much the trained killer aspect, but the "new toy" aspect.
The civilians are terrible in estimating what the military needs. The Whiz kids back in the 60s are a testament to that.